Sunday, November 1, 2009

Aromatherapy - Ten Essential Oils to have on hand!


Ten Essential Oils You’ll Want To Use
And Why!

by Susi Baumgartner

Aromatherapy
literally means
“to treat with aroma or fragrance through inhalation.”

Although inhalation is one of the main applications for Aromatherapy, there are several ways to enhance your health and well-being through the Art of Aromatherapy.

As a preventative measure Aromatherapy is a safe alternative method to soothe our emotions, quiet our mind, and balance our energies, especially if we feel like we are a little off-centre or out of balance. Essential oils have the ability to help us naturally, by bringing about a feeling of calmness or alertness, depending upon the situation and which essential oil or combination of oils you use. Using an oil burner to diffuse essential oils or having a massage with an essential oil blend are other practical and effective ways to enjoy their benefits!

How does it work?

The diffusing effect of essential oils works through the 'olfactory system' which has a direct effect on the brain (through the limbic system) and of course the brain affects the rest of our systems!  Whether that be our emotional systems, our internal organs, our energetic system, our digestive system, etc., they can stimulate appetite or a give us a feeling of being full, again depending on the desired effect as to which oils we choose to use.

Through our emotions they can affect the way we feel and ultimately the way we feel affects everything else!

Recent studies of essential oils have involved looking at their effects on stress, blood pressure and even cortisol levels, which are indicated in stress levels among many other things. 


My ten picks for your aromatherapy kit:

Chamomile
Diffuse this essential oil for a “breath of calm” in a busy day! Chamomile may help you to dispel anger and steady your feelings bringing you back to a clear, calm state of mind, helping you to feel better emotionally and to sleep well.
The health benefits of chamomile essential oil are numerous and can be attributed to properties such as: anti-spasmodic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antidepressant, anti-neuralgic, carminative, analgesic, sedative, nervine, digestive, tonic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, etc.

Clary Sage
This essential oil is believed to be beneficial for hormonal balance, insomnia, and other symptoms of PMS. You may find it calms you, making it a wonderful oil to diffuse during stressful times.

Cedarwood
An essential oil high in sesquiterpenes which means it can affect the emotion centre of the brain. It also encourages the pineal gland to release melatonin which fosters deep sleep. Breathe in this oil during times of congestion, coughs, and bronchitis.

Frankincense
Diffuse this fragrant oil when you would like to increases spiritual awareness and stay focused while you are meditating. Breathing in Frankincense may also improve your attitude and elevate your spirits!

Geranium
Another great essential oil for stress. While it calms and balances you, it may help to release negative memories. Diffusing this oil may bring you to a higher level of well-being emotionally so you feel more peaceful and optimistic.

Lavender
This wonderful essential oil is well known for its calming, relaxing and balancing effect on the emotions. These properties make it a good oil to diffuse when you are dealing with nervous tension, high blood pressure or depression. Diffuse this in the bedroom for a good nights rest.

Lemongrass
This essential oil is fun to diffuse because it is said it helps to make one more intuitive. It is also purifying and a natural insect repellent. Diffuse it to stay awake and feel less irritable!

Peppermint
This fresh cool-scented essential oil is known as “The Happy Oil”. If you are on a weight-reduction diet, you may like to know that Peppermint has been studied for its ability to affect the brain’s satiety center; the part of the brain that makes us feel full after we’ve eaten enough! It’s also good for headaches, focusing, and depression and can help clear the sinuses.

TeaTree
The health benefits of Tea Tree Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like anti-bacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, balsamic, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide, stimulant and sudorific.

Ylang Ylang
This relaxing fragrance balances male-female energies. It seems to give you what you need to come into balance. It brings your energy up if it is low and helps to calm you if you need grounding! It also has aphrodisiac properties. Think: calm, balance, confidence, peace, joy.


This article is for your interest only and none of these comments are meant to replace conventional medical treatment. Please use essential oils with care, and never ingest them or use them undiluted on the skin.

References:
Advanced Aromatherapy, Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D.
Aromatherapy for Common Ailments, Shirley Price
Essential Oils Integrative Medical Guide, Dr. Gary Young

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